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Top Student
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎07-21-2011
Message 1 of 7 (1,439 Views)

Which computer should I buy

I desperately need to buy a new computer. I decided to go with HP but now I'm not so sure. I had a Dell and hated it but that was several years ago.
I am currently using a Emachines that I bought in Nov. of 06. 200gb HD, 1024 MB DDR Memory. I just use it for searching the net, making and storing documents, storing lots of photos, watching youtubes and maybe a movie once in a while.
I makes alot of noise and its too slow.
Staples has the Slimline s5-1020 on sale through Saturday. Would this be an improvement? I'm worried about motherboard defects and other problems I have read about online regarding HP's. Someone told my husband HP is no good since it merged with some other company.
I would consider paying up to $500. I just want something RELIABLE that is not going to die and loose all my stuff.
My daughter has an HP Pavillion a6200n that she got several years ago as well and it is AWESOME. She put in a better video card and more memory and it is WONDERFUL. Her's also has the pocket media drive bay which I would love to have but only the higher priced HPs have them now as far as I can tell. I don't mind buying a slightly older model if you think it would be better.
There are just so many HPs available online between, BestBuy, Staples, Amazon. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE TO BUY!!!!
Can anyone help?
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Grad Student
Posts: 262
Member Since: ‎12-25-2008
Message 2 of 7 (1,432 Views)

Re: Which computer should I buy

[ Edited ]

There are soooo many different models and configurations available, this is hard to answer.

First, Dell vs HP?  I keep coming back to HP.  (I go through a lot of computers, for reasons not relevant to this discussion!) 

I have had far fewer problems with HP machines over the years and I have found HPs customer service, overall, to be far superior.  Technical support?  It's all in who answers the phone that day when you call.  You win some, you lose some.  (Same with Dell.)  It helps if you have some idea what's going on before you call them.  And that's one of the reasons I love this forum so much.  A lot of truly dedicated and friendly people here who give of their time and expertise.  Much better than any other manufacturer hosted forum I've seen.


New computer?  Personally, my very first question is - What is the return policy.  You want to know where you stand if there is a problem or if the computer you picked just doesn't suit your needs.  That's one of the reasons why I prefer to buy locally, so I don't have to worry about shipping, etc.  (I like to buy at Sam's Club because they have a 90-day no questions asked return policy on computers.  That's an unusually generous policy, just one of the perks of membership there.)

Since you mentioned it, Best Buy?  I don't know their return policy, and I know several really great forum members here work there, but, personally I avoid that store like it has the plague.  They work on commission.  Enough said.  I really like my local Staples store, friendly knowledgable staff.  These are just my opnions, remember, I don't know what's available in your area.


The model you referenced, the s5-1020 , that looks like it would suit your needs.  The only thing, well, really two things, I wanted to note:

1.  Slimline case.  Smaller, attractive, but very important to keep good air flow around the case.  And blow the dust out regularly.  Those small cases are packed inside and you want to do everything you can to help the internal fan keep good air flow through all of the components.

2.  Onboard graphics.  This machine does not have a separate video card like your daughter's.  What is there should be plenty good enough for streaming average quality movies , watching regular movies.  You're certainly not going to get blu ray quality out of this machine, as is.  But what is there is nice for regular movies and youtube.  You can, at some point in the future, like your daughter, add a new video card.  You will also have to replace the power supply.  But you need to know that these components will be more expensive and less to choose from because of #1, above.  Special sizes of video cards and power supplies are needed to be able to fit inside those slimline cases.  


Just my thought, but really, the system, as is, should be great for surfing the web, watching a few movies, doing some word processing.  That 1TB hard drive is plenty big enough, lots of storage for your photos.  You shouldn't need to upgrade, add components, like your daughter, unless your needs change dramatically - you want to play vid games, do a lot of photo editing and processing, or want to watch movies in very high quality.


Hope this helps.

Posts: 138
Member Since: ‎02-23-2011
Message 3 of 7 (1,428 Views)

Re: Which computer should I buy

[ Edited ]

Staples has the Slimline s5-1020 on sale through Saturday. Would this be an improvement? I'm worried about motherboard defects and other problems I have read about online regarding HP's. Someone told my husband HP is no good since it merged with some other company.

The Compaq merger was ten years ago.  The dust has settled! 


ANY brand in this under five hundred dollar price range is going to have impassioned folks yanking your ear in many directions.   Nor is it going to be the equal of a machine in the above one thousand dollar range.  Regardles of brand. 


The features of this machine at Staples are going to be hard to match for under $350.  The negatives listed in Imann's post are accurate, but the cost factor is also important.  Please clean regularly! 


This machine will do all you list nicely and give you some money left from your budget to get a new, big monitor.

Top Student
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎07-21-2011
Message 4 of 7 (1,419 Views)

Re: Which computer should I buy

Thanks for the replies! They've been really helpful!

HP Pavilion p7-1010 Desktop PC
HP Pavilion p7-1020 Desktop PC
HP Pavilion P6310 Desktop PC
HP Pavilion p7-1026b PC Bundle (this one comes with a 20 in monitor)

I've decided to stick with Staples and HP. I had some terrible experiences with Bestbuy's Geek Squad when I bought the emachine.

The models above are available at Staples. Are any of them clearly better than the Slimline? They are a bit higher priced but I would do that if one of them was worth it. Esp. the HP Pavilion p7-1026b PC Bundle cause it comes with the monitor.
Grad Student
Posts: 262
Member Since: ‎12-25-2008
Message 5 of 7 (1,415 Views)

Re: Which computer should I buy

[ Edited ]

A quick view, please confirm before you buy!

The specs on the P7 1010 and 1026b are very similar.  1TB hard drive, , 6GB RAM, and similar cpu.  Both have the same onboard graphics.  You can add a vid card later, if you want, but will also probably need to change the power supply if you do.  Again, unless you're doing some heavy duty graphics, video game playing, or looking for blu ray, the onboard graphics are good.  Anyway, both of those are basically the same except for two things:  the 1026b, the bundle with the monitor does not have wireless.  Do you need wireless capability?  And do you need a new monitor - and is the price difference about right?


The p7-1020 has more memory (8GB) and a humongous hard drive (1.5TB).  Otherwise, about the same as the other two.  I don't know what prices you're looking at.


I couldn't look up the p6310.  There's a letter missing off of the end of it.  Either f, it, t, or y.


Just a note - that first system was only $350?!?  If that was true I would run, not walk, to snatch that up!  That's a heck of a lot of computer for $350!

Top Student
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎07-21-2011
Message 6 of 7 (1,404 Views)

Re: Which computer should I buy

HP Pavilion p7-1026b PC Bundle (this one comes with a 20 in monitor) - this one is regularly $649 but on sale plus instant coupon makes it $549.
The Slimline s5-1020 is regularly $429 but with sale and coupon $329. No one else has it at that price. So I will get that tomorrow unless you think there is much of an advantage to a full size tower over the Slimline. I will not be adding more memory or changing cards or anything. For that price I will just buy a new one if I ever need more memory or anything. Also as far as air circulation around the slimline - my desk has a place big enough for a full size tower so with the smaller Slimline in the same place there should be plenty of air circ.

I wouldn't mind a new monitor but I can get that later and still be under the $549 that is the cost of the p7-1026b bundle. Plus I will have to buy Microsoft Works or something like that because it doesn't come with the s5-1020. You get Microsoft Word trial but I don't like Word and Works is only about $50.

Heres the link to the p6310 - they don't have a letter on the end - probably their mistake:

Thanks for all your help. I feel alot better about making my purchase tomorrow.
Posts: 9,481
Member Since: ‎07-16-2011
Message 7 of 7 (1,401 Views)

Re: Which computer should I buy

The p6310 that Staples has available is a p6310f, which is a very mature product. It has been on the market for 20 months.

Model: p6310f / Product number: AY018AA / Release date: 18-Nov-2009 / Country/region sold in: United States, Canada


That said, it looks like most of the systems you are looking at have AMD cpu's. I would go with the AMD Phenom line over the Athlon line at the same clock speed. The going price for the monitor is around $150. I would guess this bundle saves you about $50 - $100.


Try to get the  most bang for your buck.




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